What can students do when the college library doesn’t have the materials they need to write a research paper or complete a project?
Use the Interlibrary Loan system to get the information from another library that has it, said Reference Librarian Rachel Butler.
Interlibrary Loan is a system where OCCC agrees to loan books, magazine articles, and DVDs to other libraries, and other libraries return the favor, Butler said.
Students and staff are able to use the Interlibrary Loan database for class or personal interest. “We don’t care,” she said. “We can get all sorts of things for students and staff.”
The school processes about 2,000 to 3,000 loans a year. This may seem like a lot, but not when compared to some of the bigger colleges, like the University of Oklahoma, that make about 40,000 loans a year.
“We lend out more than we borrow even though we are a smaller school,” Butler said.
Interlibrary Loan is a useful tool for students but many are unaware of this program. Out of 14 students interviewed, only three had heard of Interlibrary Loan.
Of those who had heard of Interlibrary Loan only one had used it.
“It is easy to use, and it saves money and time,” said OCCC student Chhatra Guruny.
Students and staff can ask for something specific and the college will cover the cost of the shipping.
“It is free to everyone as long as they are a student or an employee at OCCC,” Butler said.
It takes about a week to receive a book or DVD because they come by the mail.
“I try to ask the schools that send books at a faster rate first and leave the slower-sending schools for a last resort,” Butler said.
“Most articles come faster, in about a day or two, because they are sent electronically,” Butler said. They are sent to the students or staff members by e-mail and come in a PDF file through Interlibrary Loan.
The program has been at the college since the school first opened. All colleges have the lending system. Butler explained.
“Everyone can’t afford to buy everything out there.”
To access Interlibrary Loan, people can go on the Library section of the OCCC home page and click on the library request form and then can click on the Interlibrary Loan link from there.
She mentioned EbscoHost, a mega collection of articles and databases, as a very good way to search for magazine and journal articles. If OCCC doesn’t have the article, Ebsco makes it very easy to ask for it through the Interlibrary Loan system, Butler said.
The books, DVDs or journal articles are sent to the OCCC library where they are processed. Students pick up the items at the circulation desk and return them to the same place.
People can keep newspaper or magazine articles because they are sent by PDF or a Xerox copy, Butler said.
There is a companion service for students that have waited too long to ask for Interlibrary Loan.
Students can get an OK-Share card from the circulation desk, which allows the student to go to other college libraries in Oklahoma and check out books, Butler said.
“There is an agreement that all of the colleges in the state signed several years ago to make this program possible,” Butler said.
For more information, contact Rachel Butler at 405-682-1611, ext.7643, or firstname.lastname@example.org